Hey, Mane Landers, it's another beautiful Sunday. As you are no doubt aware, today is National Frozen Food Day, National Oreo Cookie Day, and National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day. So, what you need to do is get yourself a frozen White Chocolate Cheesecake and crumble some Oreos... wait a second. March 6. Why do I feel like I'm missing something here. Oh, wait, that's right. Today is...
GAME DAY!!! Oh, and it's also Harrison Heath's 20th birthday, so a big happy birthday to the gaffer's boy.
Ready for Action
It's probably safe to say that the players are looking forward to today as much as, if not more than, the fans are. The Real Salt Lake players, however, may have slightly less excitement as they are not only away, but have already bagged two competitive matches in recent weeks. The team lost to Mexican side Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. While it wasn't a particularly successful set of matches for RSL, Adrian Heath feels that this may give his opponents a bit of an advantage. As Heath notes, however, this has given the Lions a bit of an advanced scouting report. Orlando City, however, claims to be ready not just for today, but for a full playoff run.
About that Bowl
One thing that is definitely working in OCSC's advantage is, well, us. As you all know, the Citrus Bowl will be full (#Again), and that extra burst of adrenaline may be what gives the home team that extra edge that can be the difference between victory and defeat. As you can see from this video, the players absolutely feed on this energy. It's especially awesome to see Mason Stajduhar talk about the impact at his high school. It will be the last time the team will have the chance to draw 60,000 plus, as next year we will #FillTheNewBowl. While The Mane Land will keep you up to speed on all the logistics you need to know, here are some options for navigating the crowds.
Redding to Start
While newcomer Antonio Nocerino will not be participating today, we do know that Tommy Redding will be playing. Not just playing, but starting in place of injured David Mateos. This is a major vote of confidence for the 19-year-old defender. At one point, we were thinking that he might be headed for OCB, and he still may, but starting the opener is a huge moment for the young man and something he'll remember for the rest of his life. Congrats to Tommy. Now don't screw it up.
Orlando City B in Action
Oh yeah, about that OCB team. Still a few weeks away from its opener, but everyone is working hard to get ready. Yesterday, OCB defeated Florida Tech 3-0 in one of its final tuneups. Goals by Johnny Mendoza, Keegan Smith, and William Eyang, fed by a couple of assists from Mikey Ambrose were the keys to the game. One key point regarding the future of OCB is that players can be called up to the senior team for "short term agreements" in case of extreme hardship. Hopefully that won't be necessary, but if things go the way they did last year, it will be a nice insurance policy.
USL-affiliated players may be signed to "Short Term Agreements" for MLS league season games but only in cases of "Extreme Hardship."— Chris Kamrani (@chriskamrani) March 4, 2016
- Still thirsting for a few more previews? Here. Are. A. Few. More. Though, honestly, there's nothing more to say at this point, so why don't you just stay with us.
- Instant replay may be on it's way to soccer. It will be nice to see referees mess up a call twice.
- Is this the new USMNT home kit? I think I had those pajamas as a kid.